Avery Dennison Label and Packaging Materials / Remanufacturing Our Pallet Supply Chain

Remanufacturing Our Pallet Supply Chain

How heavy rainfall in a hardwood forest reshaped our perspective

For the past decade, the Avery Dennison Remanufactured Pallet Initiative team has been working to solve a specific challenge - how to source high-quality and affordably priced shipping pallets in the face of an increasingly limited supply. Their answer, it turns out, is good for the bottom line and the environment.

Sustainable solution

In 2008, once plentiful and affordable hardwood shipping pallets faced a price increase and supply limitations after a heavy rain season slashed the amount of hardwood lumber available.

When it became clear that repurposing our own used pallets was not feasible, the team at Avery Dennison partnered with Pallet Alliance to find a solution. Together, they found a way to reduce waste, lower cost and ensure continuity of the pallet supply by implementing sustainable practices.

The Pallet Alliance uses a holistic approach to develop relationships with remanufactured pallet manufacturers around the United States who now provide Avery Dennison with a product that not only meets, but exceeds our quality standards. The remanufactured pallets are created from discarded pallets that would otherwise wind up in a landfill.

The process is simple: the used pallets are collected, dismantled and sorted, and new pallets are manufactured from the reclaimed wood. The result is a win-win: affordable, high-quality pallets with a reduced environmental impact.

“Remanufactured pallets use discarded wood that would otherwise be destined for refuse. The new process allows us to lower our impact by letting us use less virgin lumber from forests, less fuel for hauling, and less waste in the end, since many of our pallets go on to be recycled into new pallets again,” says Avery Dennison Category Manager Pat Boyle.

The new process allows us to lower our impact by helping us conserve 2.2 million board feet of virgin lumber from forests, less fuel for hauling, and less waste in the end...

As an added bonus, he says, “The remanufactured pallets are made stronger and lighter in weight than the new ones, since the wood is aged and the pallets are fortified by hand. This means they’re a bit easier to manipulate and work with for our customers.”

A simple change makes a big difference

When the project started in 2008, the Avery Dennison team wanted a sustainable solution to their supply problem. By  2017, they looked back to see they’d made a huge impact. That year, they conserved 2.2 million board feet of new hardwood lumber by choosing to purchase remanufactured wood pallets over new ones.

In 2018, Avery Dennison will conserve an estimated 2.9 million board feet of hardwood lumber. In terms of trees, that’s roughly 15,389 for 2018 alone. 

Project Name: Remanufactured Pallet Initiative

Avery Dennison Team Members: Daniel Ramirez, Brian Gottwald, Esteban Garcia, Fraser Kirkpatrick, Amy Gatewood, Chris Ashauer, Tony Cannon, Pat Boyle, Dario Soto

2025 Sustainability Goal: Waste

We’ll be 95 percent landfill-free, with at least 75 percent of waste reused, repurposed or recycled. We’ll also eliminate 70 percent of matrix and liner as waste from our value chain.

Our products contribute to the waste stream after they leave our factories; we’ll help customers and other end users reduce that waste. In our own operations, we’ll increase the amount of waste we divert from landfills and use lower-impact alternatives to incineration to dispose of it.

The Avery Dennison Remanufactured Pallet Initiative Team was recognized as a winner of the Label and Graphic Materials 2018 Sustainability Award. The Sustainability Awards recognize individuals and teams who have done significant work moving us towards achieving our 2025 Sustainability Goals. Learn more about sustainability at Avery Dennison by visiting our website.

To learn more about Avery Dennison Label and Packaging Materials, visit www.label.averydennison.com.

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